Global realty investment firm Hines to inject $23m in Tata Housing project

Tata Housing
Photo: Tata Housing website

Hines, a global real estate investment and management firm with $100 billion in assets under management, will invest $23 million in Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd’s premium wellness-themed project Serein at Thane, Maharashtra.

The money will go towards development of the project.

Last year, Tata Housing announced the project Serein, which will be spread across 7.3 acres and have four, 33-storey towers and a total of 740 flats.

The homes are priced in the premium segment, ranging from Rs1.65 crore for a two bedroom-hall-kitchen apartment, to Rs2 crore for a three-bedroom unit.

“Our partnership with Hines is in line with our long-term growth strategy of expanding our premium and luxury portfolio with iconic projects at marque locations across the country. This partnership will help us bring in the global best practices from Hines internationally. We look forward to expanding our association with Hines for future projects,” said Brotin Banerjee, chief executive and managing director of Tata Housing.

The fact that Tata Housing and Hines plan to associate for future projects is important in the context that the Mumbai-based developer had agreed with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), a part of Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd, to jointly invest around Rs2,000 crore to develop high-end residential projects.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed last year and the transaction was supposed to be the Australia-based investor’s first real estate investment in India.

“Though the MoU was signed, the transaction has been put on hold for now, given the current conditions in the real estate sector. With Hines, this is a project-level investment but different options are being explored and it also takes time for partners to understand one another,” said a person familiar with the development who did not wish to be named.

Amit Diwan, senior director of investments for Hines India, said the Tata Housing investment is in line with their thesis of providing equity capital to tier-I developers of residential projects, serving the upper-middle and luxury segments.

“Luxury housing in India has lost its positioning in the current market. Both investors and developers are moving towards mid-income and more affordable housing projects. Not too many developers are also rushing to launch too many premium or luxury residential projects,” said Chintan Patel, partner (deal advisory-real estate and hospitality), KPMG India.

Yash Gupta, who was senior managing director and country head for Hines India Ltd, resigned from the firm, Mint reported on 24 October. Gupta left 11 years after setting up the India operations of Hines, which has assets under management of $470 million in the country and has invested in both commercial office and residential projects here.

Tata Housing sells premium and luxury homes in the Rs60 lakh to Rs14 crore range and has a number of projects. And, under its True Value Homes brand, the developer sells apartments at an entry price of Rs16 lakh across cities.

This article was first published on Livemint.com.